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February 9, 2020

‘Investment in livestock, fisheries to end poverty in rural areas’

February 9, 2020

HYDERABAD: The two-day Sindh Livestock Expo 2020 began on Saturday, where speakers urged to invest in livestock and fisheries sector to meet the demands of food and end poverty in rural areas.

Punjab Livestock Minister Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dareeshak, addressing the inauguration ceremony, said, “We, like all third world countries do not have accurate data of natural resources, mainly breeds, productivity and their contribution in export.”

Despite claiming that the country was the fourth biggest milk producer, malnutrition was increasing among children. “We should think together to promote this neglected economic sector,” he added.

He appreciated Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Department for organising the expo, which has attracted most popular breeds from all over the country. He talked about the famous Sindhi horse breed, which has potential to compete in races, beauty and health.

He emphasised on coordination within breeders, herders, exporters, investor, and the government departments, which would benefit rural herders.

Sindh Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi said, “We have always focused on industrial sector for economy and have never given preference to agriculture and livestock, the most productive sectors, which not only provide sources of livelihood to the rural population, but also contribute nutritious food to the nation in form of milk, yogurt, butter and meat.”

He said livestock contributes more to GDP, but in return herders do not receive enough benefits. He said Sindh government would design effective policies to promote agriculture and livestock sectors, and mobilise breeders with incentives.

Pitafi invited investors to invest in the livestock sector, which would benefit the people, who have been associated with livestock, fisheries and agriculture through generations. “We have popular milk breeds, which need value-addition and adaptation to market oriented mechanisms for earning higher profits,” he said, adding that breeders needed to be mobilised to look into the existing market mechanisms to increase production.

The minister said Tharparkar District had a livestock population of seven million, which had potential to address malnourishment and hunger in the region. “It is a tragedy that rural people are migrating to urban areas in search of livelihood. We believe that these people should have sources of livelihood in agriculture and livestock in their areas,” he added.

“The government is planning to motivate these people to engage in agriculture and livestock as sources of living in the rural areas, instead of migrating to urban settlements.”

The expo attracted a large number of animals, almost all popular breeds of buffalo, cows, goats, sheep, horses, camels and birds were part of the exhibition. Financial institutions, companies and manufacturing industries, associated with livestock, fisheries and agriculture have set up stalls and have put up their products on display to attract the people visiting the expo.The expo is a joint initiative of four provincial ministries, including ministries of livestock and fisheries, agriculture, culture and tourism, and sports.